Guest Post: Adding Colour to Your Grey/Black Wardrobe by KJ and Co.

Hi everyone! I’m Krista, from KJ and Co. You might remember me from my days as a rookie homeowner, blogging about my hunt for the perfect living room chairs or posts such as “How Not To Install Your Toilet Paper Holder”. These days, I’m blogging about my new adventures in the wedding planning and vintage rentals business, and my own plans (and procrastination) for our wedding next spring.

I was lucky to meet Brittany at the last BlogPodium event and she’s graciously welcoming me here for the day.

Most days you can find me at the computer working away. (Or pinning, if I allow myself a break.) The wedding planning business is on it’s way, but I still have one of those pesky day jobs. Working full time and running my own business keeps me pretty busy as I’m sure you can imagine. I’m not gonna lie, once I get home, I live in my sweatpants. My work wardrobe has been relatively simple in the years since graduating and becoming a so-called “grown up”. In my previous career as a hairstylist, I had to wear basic black, which made things pretty easy.

In the last few years, out of the salon I’ve been allowed colour, yet I still found myself wearing basic black and gray and that’s about it. Not only do I find it hard to add colour to my wardrobe, I now spend very differently.

Before, when I still lived at home, the majority of my income went to shopping and socializing. Nowadays there are less fun things to spend my hard-earned pay cheques on, like car insurance, utilities, mortgage, furniture, toilet paper, groceries… The list goes on and on and on. You’d be surprised how quickly your priorities change and you find yourself spending more of your disposable income in Home Sense instead of clothing stores.

While I love to treat myself to the occasional splugeinvestment” item such as a designer purse or shoes, usually I would rather spend that money on new drapes for our bedroom or a dual-flush toilet. (I’m sorry, I know I’m making home-ownership sound really exciting, aren’t I?)

I’ve realized recently that I needed to get out of my black-and-gray, cardigan-and-pants, work wardrobe rut. Not only did I need some more colour in my closet, but some variation as well. Also, I do believe in the old saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” I needed a better wardrobe to present myself professionally for my new business. But how did I do that on a budget?

First and foremost, allow me to sing the praises of Joe Fresh. Don’t be turned off by the fact that this brand is available mainly in grocery stores (and some standalone locations). It was launched by the designer and entrepreneur behind Club Monaco and has launched in NYC. It’s accessable, affordable and stylish. I love this brand for simple basics like tank tops and I recently purchased some great black skinny pants and several versatile tops (in colour!) for work and play. I would have snatched up several dresses too, had they been available in my size.

I’ve also had amazing luck lately at H&M, finding two great dresses, both for less then $30.

>I think the key when shopping at less expensive stores (or anywhere for that matter) is to be absolutely sure that you love what you’re buying. While it doesn’t seem like a big deal at the time to drop $20 here and $30 there, the money is essentially wasted if the item doesn’t fit well, or it’s so over-the-top trendy or out of your comfort zone, they’ll just sit in your closet with the tags attached.

I need to be absolutely certain that I’ll wear something more than once, with multiple occasions in mind, before I pay for it. And if I don’t wear it in a few days or weeks after buying, I don’t hesitate to return it, so I have the money back where it belongs. In the bank, not hanging in the closet collecting dust.

I also purge my closet on a regular basis. If it doesn’t fit, I never wear it anymore, I’m bored with it, it goes! I take clean and folded clothes to a resale store like Plato’s Closet or Revolver. They pay me cash for my used clothing depending on the condition, style or season. Whatever they don’t buy, goes straight to the donation bin.

Again, cash back for things I’m not using. Woo hoo! I sell my furniture on Kijiji when I’m done with it, why shouldn’t I make a little money off of the clothes I’m no longer wearing?

Last but not least, look for the sales and don’t be afraid to use a coupon. I hate to pay full price. Sign up for the email list of stores and brands you like, so that you’ll be notified when there are sales and receive coupons. Even more expensive stores such as Banana Republic and Coach are now offering discount codes and printable coupons on a regular basis and it’s a great way to score some higher quality merchandise at a more reasonable price. I love my new pink silk blouse from Banana, and even better, it was an additional 40% of the already marked down price.

I hope you find my tips helpful, please feel free to share some of your own, or your fave spots to score good deals.

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